Essay on Jean-Paul Sartre: Conscience to the World

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Jean-Paul Sartre: Conscience to the World At the time of his death on the fifteenth of April, 1980, at the age of seventy-four, Jean-Paul Sartre’s greatest literary and philosophical works were twenty-five years in the past. Although the small man existed in the popular mind as the politically inconsistent champion of unpopular causes and had spent the last seven years of his life in relative stagnation, his influence was still great enough to draw a crowd of over fifty thousand people – admirers or otherwise – for his funeral procession. Sartre was eminently quotable, a favorite in the press, because his statements were always controversial. He was the leader of the shortly popular Existential movement in philosophy which turned…show more content…
He learned to read at age four and was soon reading voraciously books in French and German, including the Encyclopedia and such authors as Voltaire, Hugo, and Flaubert (about whom he would write an enormous biography late in life). Though he couldn’t understand the meaning behind these works, the young Sartre felt his place was in words, and began to write his own, usually adventure stories with himself cast as the hero, diary entries, and letters in verse to his delighted and proud grandfather. [Madsen, 29-32] While Karl Schweitzer was turning his grandson into an adult, he was turning his daughter back into a child. She had been little educated in her youth and her father believed that she could not handle herself as an adult. The two were raised, in effect, as brother and sister. Anne-Marie loved Jean-Paul as a son, but she had no control over his doings, and often fought over his upbringing with Karl. She did not want to see her son turned into an adult at so young an age, and so she smuggled comic books and children’s novels to him. These interactions between mother and grandfather, the constant struggle for little Poulou’s attention and affection built up his ego and gave him an enormous self-confidence that supported him throughout life. [Gerassi, 46-8]. Relation to Gardner’s Model All of Gardner’s

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